tv [untitled] March 11, 2011 7:00am-7:30am PST
marathon, so we really launched with a feeling of this is for everyone in this community. it was a tremendous thing to bring everyone together around the opening of this building. >> you are part of our creative troika, including the founder, brenda wey and k.t. nelson. talk about what it is like to keep this campus going. >> it is a wonderful thing to be working with someone who is certainly your co-worker and also largely your mentor. i inherited the theater at a funny time in its life. it needed to make some decisions as an institution about what it wanted to be. whether it wanted to be exclusively a rental facility, it is needed to be a rehearsal space with a really high ceilings -- whatever it was, having that level of leadership that my founding director is also my boss really made that
possible. i really felt like i had great stewardship and we were able to make really innovative decisions for how the theater could grow over the decade. >> living with -- living with someone who is both your immediate boss and also a working artist is also a huge asset. that is one of the things that keeps the creativity flowing through odc. it is a campus about the creative process at all times. >> the theater was part of a second phase of capital fund raising and community support. the previous one had renovated the space where the rehearsal studios are and the school is, sell what does that sort of say about the importance of the odc in the community? >> i think it's spoke to the two very different tracks of our organization. part of what we do is education and outreach. part of what we do is
performance on the part of our company, odc dance, and a third part of what we do is this presenting an incubation stage. when we came to people to talk about the theater as a second investment after having built the dance commons, the distinct purpose of the theater really came through. what we were going to do with our venue was invest deeply in creativity, deeply in our regional artists, and we were going to do something that most mid-size san francisco venues have struggled to do. >> talk to me a little about the group other than odc that have used this space. >> one of the great pleasures in our opening season was to go back and invite two of our former resident artists to launch this space. arab laung was to invite two of the best known -- our launch was
to invite two of the best known companies in the city to share in the event, and it was really exceptional. these are companies that i have worked with and the organization has worked with releases they were either newborn or just a few years old, and to go back to that roster and invite two of our really major home town honeys to open a theater and be able to treat them as the professionals they have become with this opportunity, with this menu, and with the resources that were available was really a full circle experience for both of us. >> now that the theater has been fully renovated, where is it going? >> i believe that san francisco is in some ways to the nation what odc is to san francisco, which is to say that i believe the west coast is the hotbed for innovation. i think it is where major cultural innovations happen, where huge ideas are born and often raised up. it may not often be the
marketplace that other major metropolitan areas are, but i do think is the center of where creativity sits. i think that what odc can do by becoming this level of institution is raise the platform of san francisco. i name -- in many ways, it is sort of a death process, but putting an artist in contact with recording artists, with other major areas, with exchange companies around the country and the world will become a central part of what we do. >> it is clear that now there is a campus that has been built out and filled in, that odc is playing this fabulous supportive and incubated role, both for san francisco, the bay area, and the country. thank you so much for being part of "culturewire." >> my pleasure. >> and for contributing so much to the performing arts of our
>> welcome to "culture wire." on this episode, we explore what it means to the aged, in today's society -- what it means to be chicana in today's society. chica chic features an array of artwork by five leading chicana artists that addresses a range of issues such as integration, sustainability, and integration. using a distinct visual approach, each of the artist's response to the shifting needs of their communities in ways that offer unique perspectives and multiple points of entry. >> the exhibition is to bring together the voices of a new generation chicana artists, all
of whom reference the works of the civil-rights movement in their works, but they are also responding to a new cultural concerns and new cultural circumstances. >> the works in the show include a large canvas depicting a woman washing the beach with her hair at the u.s./mexican border. the painting encourages the viewer to engage with the current debates over immigration and the politics of women and labor. influenced by the campaigns of the chicano civil rights movement, this oakland artist is a print maker whose work has helped and sustainability with the immigrant community as well as other current sociopolitical issues. this print-based work draws on appropriated agricultural worker manuals and high fashion labels to satirically address class issues, cultural identities, and
consumerism. >> angelica -- her father was an agricultural worker, so she has drawn a lot from the materials the agricultural department sends to agricultural workers, referencing the depiction of farm workers and some of the information about pesticide application. >> mitzi combines a variety of media, including embroidery, to create artifacts of mexican, chicano, pop culture. she greets immensely detailed drawings of celebrities on the same platform of her friends and families. her work combines elements of chicano portraiture and low writer art, rendered in upon new art style, or intricate drawings on handkerchiefs, also -- often associated with prison art. her portrait of three girls is among several of original posters by the exhibition artists, which are on view at
various bart stations as part of a public campaign funded by the national endowment of the arts. from the outset, the curator felt it was important for the exhibition to have a public art components of the work could reach the widest possible audience. more than just a promotion, the posters connect the work of these powerful artists with new audiences, including the vital chicano and latino community. images can be found in bart stations located in san for cisco and oakland. >> it is enormously exciting for me personally and for the institution. the poster with up right after new year's, and i remember very vividly -- i am a regular rider, and i went into the station and saw the first poster i had seen, it was incredibly exciting. it is satisfying to know that through the campaign, we are reaching a broader audience.
>> for more information about >> welcome to "culture wire." i'm here with james lee, and exhibiting artist, and we will have a chat today about the body of work you are presenting. after you left the military, what prompted you to go back to a place where the u.s. is engaged in military action? >> it is interesting.
the population of afghanistan is around 29 million, and there's probably no more than 80,000 u.s. soldiers serving in afghanistan right now, but if you look at the stories that come out, you think the numbers are completely reversed. all the stories are about americans, and you see almost no images of stories about the afghan people themselves, so if you look at the dominant representational paradigm uc today, it is all about foreign soldiers. my idea was to try incurred counted to that a popularized narrative and focus on images and stories that really reflect that lived experience of conflict through the eyes of the afghan people. >> you are exhibiting with three other photographers. it is true all three of them have really focused in the areas where a lot of u.s. and allied
forces are seeing action, are actually involved in combat, so your story is different than theirs. what does it mean to show your body of work along side of the stories that probably are more familiar? what kind of juxtaposition does that create for you as an artist? >> i think the strength of bringing the two different stories together is i think there is a real danger in focusing only on surface similarities between conflicts. when people look at a body of work and say that they see in this conflict photography, and it reminds them of somalia or iraq, i think that is dangerous because i think there are very unique elements to each conflict, and if you do not focus on the distinctions, you start to create a broader, watered-down topic, which is armed conflict, so i think it is important that when we focus on conflict, we make sure we do not just generalize, but we allow specific places and voices and people to be heard and we do not make these generalized
assumptions about what conflict is like. >> the other photographers in the show, what is local, and the others are from new york and new delhi. what do you like about some of their work? >> in a big fan of the fact that he approaches photography from a non-traditional point of view. he also cunner has a mixed view of cameras themselves. he calls them toys. >> he uses these cameras that one might assume our toys, but he also says all the toy cameras are cameras, so it does not really matter to him what he is using to take the images as long as he is getting the images he wants. and because they are taken with these film cameras, they have a very different feel than the other pictures in the show. one of the things i want to talk about is that lindsey's body of
work is running down one side of the hall, and it is all about women in afghanistan and how they serve and their special interactions with civilian women and communities, which is the special role that women soldiers play in afghanistan. across from eric copeland's work, which is extremely masculine and black and white and very aggressive -- what do you think about that juxtaposition between their two bodies of work? >> i like lindsey's contribution to the exhibit. she shoots in color, like i do, so it is great to see more color. she has a gift for capturing distinct moments that balance the conflict that these women are facing did today, but also very intimate, very feminine moments. she has one where a female soldier is shaving her legs at the beginning of her day, and it is kind of an odd thing to consider, but, obviously, it happens every day, but most
people do not think about the challenges that face women in these types of environments where they continue to be feminine, continue to be women, but they also serve a vital role in afghanistan. she allows viewers to come in and see those kinds of intimate moments you might not normally think about. >> to our viewers, and actually the curator of the show. one of the things i was interested in with your work and with the other bodies of work i selected was that you are presenting a real human perspective. each of you zeroes in on individuals, and the kind of sensitive, intimate, or private moments. >> if you look at most people's lives today and the way they spend their lives, it is probably not that different from what goes on on some of these larger for an operating basis. they have cafeterias. they have internet cafes. they have laundromats. they have their own spaces where they read, play video games. it is really like a small, microcosm of what they might find back in the united states.
>> what do you hope that viewers take away from seeing your body of work or the exhibition as a whole? >> i think it is important for people to question how much we do or do not know about afghanistan, but conflict in general. too often today, i think we see one or two images and we think we understand what is going on in a part of the world, and we should try to get away from that. we should question what we know about a conflict, where we got the information, and always look for new perspectives and new focus is on topics that we think we already understand. >> james, thank you for spending time with us, and congratulations on the exhibition and letting san francisco see this big body of work of yours. >> thanks. ul, for that enlightening outlook.